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Chris Stanyer joins the team at Merit Skills as Operational Manager, before he gets too busy, we have got him to tell you a bit about himself.

I started off my working life as a young 15/16-year-old lad working for a narrowboat holiday company, emptying the toilets every Saturday morning with a 40ft suction hose and filling up the freshwater tanks with an even longer hosepipe, obviously being careful not to confuse the two; my career in the water industry was off to a great start, I’d got wastewater and distribution nailed! Unfortunately for me that’s where it sadly ended, at least until now.

So, what have I been up to between now and then? Well, I had the taste for adventure and not so much for college, so I dropped out of A Level Physics, flipped burgers in McDonalds for 18 months and joined the Army as soon as I was old enough for three years; except those three years quickly disappeared and turned into a full 24-year career in the Royal Engineers and now I’ve been pensioned off, back into civilian life. In the early part of my service, I spent most of it travelling the world deployed on operational tours, peacekeeping, warfighting, and everything in between. Eventually I’d gathered up such a huge wealth of knowledge from my experiences I decided I should give something back to the younger soldiers, so I applied and was successful in being selected as an instructor in the Royal School of Military Survey. I then spent the next three years 2013-16 delivering face to face training to both soldiers and officers on their career progression courses, something I’d been painfully subjected to myself in between my overseas jaunts as a junior soldier. The soldier courses I instructed on were Level 5 (Foundation Degree) and Level 6 (BSc) in Applied Computer Science, whilst I also lectured as an SME on the Level 7 (MSc) Army Survey Course for the Officers. Fast forward a couple of years to 2017 and I was appointed as a Squadron Technical Control Officer, which was where my real experience of Operation Management started in earnest; that particular role involved a lot of moving parts, ensuring training qualification, competency and currency of the soldiers in my Squadron was only a very small part of my role, I also had to plan, execute and review field deployment exercises with chain of command pressure to lead up to annual validation of the troops to qualify for deployment. In 2019, after two years of juggling balls and spinning plates I was rewarded with an appointed in a similar role, but my horizon of accountability and responsibility expanded to the entire Regiment, going from oversight of 80 personnel to over 200.

I retired from the military in Summer 2022 and joined EMCOR UK as a Technical Trainer on the GSK account in Stevenage, delivering Facilities Maintenance training to engineers and technicians to ensure GSK’s pharmaceutical regulatory requirements were being adhered to. Given my background I was also responsible for delivering Management, Leadership and Lean training.

That brings me up to date on this journey, so what do I intend to bring to Merit Skills and the clients? As the Operations Manager my primary focus will be to build and maintain our clients relationships, recognising their training needs and developing solutions that meet those requirements. I will ensure that all training is delivered to the highest possible standard and in accordance with our policies and procedures. I’ll leave you with the three principles I work by:

  • Do the right thing.
  • There’s always a way.
  • Be fluid, because being flexible is too rigid.

I look forward to hopefully meeting/talking to you in the future.